Hey friends, and welcome to our latest escape room marketing blog! Last week, I shared how you can get new followers on your Facebook page using a simple, cost-effective but impactful competition.
Today I want to share not a strategy, but a very important lesson in different ways/strategies of promoting your escape room. One thing’s for sure, you have a huge amount of options – some better than others, and some more tried and tested than others.
But I’m here today to tell you – that whatever ways you use to promote your escape room – make sure you use more than a few.
From now on, I’m going to refer to different marketing and promotional methods as PILLARS.
But, what do I mean by pillars of marketing?
Imagine your escape room business as a building. Different forms of marketing and ways to get bookings, each represent a pillar. As you know, a building is more stable with multiple pillars, as is a business with multiple pillars of marketing.
But why are multiple pillars best? Picture this…
There are 2 escape rooms in a town – escape room A, and escape room B.
Escape room A’s bookings are generated by the following:
Google Ads – 90%
Repeat Customers – 5%
Social Media – 2%
Direct Mail – 2%
Other – 1%
Escape room B’s bookings, on the other hand, are generated by:
Google Ads – 20%
Repeat Customers – 20%
Social Media – 20%
Direct Mail – 20%
Other – 20%
Things stay like this for both escape rooms for some time, but then out of nowhere – disaster strikes!
Google introduces new and stricter policies on ads, meaning both escape rooms can no longer use them.
What happens to the escape rooms?
Escape room A, who gets 90% of their bookings from Google ads, are in trouble. They only get 10% of the bookings they normally get! They take huge losses and have to close down.
Escape room B, on the other hand, is not so badly off. They’re still 20% down on bookings but can still operate profitably on the remaining 80%.
Can you see where the concept of pillars now come in?
Escape Room A relied on a single pillar to hold their business up, and when it suddenly collapsed, so did their escape room business.
Escape Room B, on the other hand, had multiple pillars in place so when one collapsed, they could keep going.
This concept is SO IMPORTANT, because marketing never stays the same forever. There are so many reasons why one form of marketing can suddenly stop working for you. Let’s take Google Ads for example. Here’s just a few things that could happen…
- Your credit card is halted, meaning you can’t pay for more ads
- People stop using Google, so your ads are not effective
- New legislation means your ads stop running
- Your ads just stop performing well – maybe people are tired of seeing them, or you’ve advertised to everybody you possibly can
The list goes on.
The thing is, it’s normal for an escape room to find and use one major source of bookings. And sure, I get it, if something is working that’s great. But don’t then become negligent and feel safe, because if that successful pillar was to suddenly collapse… well you know the rest.
So you need to build additional pillars and put them in place, so in the event that one was to collapse, your escape room business can keep going.
But what different marketing pillars are available for you as an escape room? Let’s dive in and see.
This is by no means an extensive list of every digital marketing pillar you can have in place. But these are the one’s I’d recommend using, taken directly from my experience of working with 50+ escape rooms.
As you read through each, please make a note of at least 3 you’re going to get in place or continue using. That way you’re that much safer, should one stop working.
Organic Social Media (not paid ads) – Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, Youtube, etc.
Paid Social Media – Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, Youtube, etc.
Google Ads & other PPC
Website live chat
They’ll also be many specific pillars unique to your own escape room situation. The key here is understanding the need, and having in place, multiple marketing pillars at all times.
As an extension of the pillar concept, I’d like to briefly go over bookings. Online booking services are the way that the majority of escape rooms obtain the majority of their bookings right now.
However, I strongly believe that escape rooms need to have alternatives readily in place. I’m sure some do, but for the benefit of those that don’t let’s quickly look at some alternatives.
The best option is to get a card machine so you can take emergency card payments in person or on the phone. Again, many of you reading will already have this, so apologies for being obvious.
For those that still like to pay in cash, have a small quantity of cash and change securely kept at your escape room business so people can pay in cash directly in person.
I understand these measures may seem excessive. But imagine the impact if people suddenly couldn’t book your escape rooms, no matter how much they may want to? Doesn’t bare thinking about, right?
That’s all for now. I really hope I’ve helped you to understand the importance of having multiple marketing pillars, and that you’ve picked out some additional pillars you’re going to get in place.
And on a personal note I wish you all and your loved ones all the best in the coming days and weeks.
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Thank You 😊
P.S. here’s 2 other free ways of promoting your escape room;
People are significantly more likely to book one of your rooms if they are engaged with you and your content. The BEST way by far to engage visitors to your website, is to get them to play a little free game, puzzle or brain teaser.
There’s two different ways of doing this.
The most proven method is the Game Popup from VirallyBot which has been proven to increase bookings by 15%+. The Game Popup is an interactive experience where players have “get out of the house”.
And best yet, it’s easy to install (literally takes seconds) and is available for free for 30 days.
To learn more, click here.
Similar to putting mini-games on your website to engage with people, you can do the same with static puzzles or brain teasers. Simple images that offer some kind of challenge is a fantastic way of engaging with visitors, getting them to stick around longer and making them more likely to book.
There are many websites that can inspire you to make your own puzzles or brain teasers, or you can sign up to receive weekly branded puzzles straight into your inbox for FREE by clicking here.